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Subject: [Roger's Reviews] Pacific Typhoon: You Sank My Battleship! rss

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"L'état, c'est moi."
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Pacific Typhoon
A game for 3-7 players designed by John Koussis and Ben Knight


Introduction

Hello and welcome to the latest edition of Roger's Reviews. I've been playing board games since I was a wee lad and wargames for over thirty years.

Pacific Typhoon is a card game with a War in the Pacific theme layered on top of it. At heart it is a trick taking game, but there are certain charming elements that elevate it above and beyond a simple card game.

Pacific Typhoon game is a re-implementation of the old Avalon Hill game, Atlantic Storm; the latter commands very high prices on eBay.

Components

The game comes with 110 player cards and 40 battle cards. The battle cards form the heart of the action in the game, with 20 of them being contested over the course of play.

Image by Peter Mal (petermal)

Also included are two dice, because, oh yes, there are times where you can roll dice!

The cards are of excellent quality with nice thick stock and should stand up well to repeated plays - I know my copy has.

Rules & Game Play

Each game begins with players drawing a hand of six cards. Cards come in essentially three types:
- Allied force cards
- Japanese force cards
- Event cards (which can be Allied, Japanse, or neutral)

The force cards will have the unit type identified by both name and image style (aircraft have a keyhole window shaped photo, surface ships binoculars, and submarines a round image). There are also cards that can be attached to any parent cards; those have a square photo.


Images courtesy of John Coussis (jcangel)

Force cards have three strength attributes: the top number is air power, the middle number surface, and the bottom number submarine. This value can vary from 0-7 or have a ? meaning you roll a die to determine the final number. If you see something like ?1, it means you roll a d6 and add 1.

Other attributes of the force cards include:
- the year(s) in which the cards can be used
- battles in which some cards may be worth double
- a lightning symbol meaning that there's a card out there with your name on it
- a name of a ship in the bottom left corner that you lie in wait for
- how many victory points the card could be worth in someone else's prize pile!

Event cards don't have attributes on them, but rather text explaining what the card does. Some cards are Allied events, such as the Little Boy card, others Japanese, and some can be used by either side.

The game is played over 20 rounds, and each round the start player will draw 2 cards from the battle deck and select which one should be resolved.

Images courtesy of John Coussis (jcangel)

Each battle has three main attributes:
- the year in which it was fought
- the time of day (blue = daytime, black = nighttime, tan = players choice)
- the number of victory points it's worth

It also will show whether having that card in your prize pile is worth 0, 0.5, or 1 resource point, which can be helpful because each whole resource point lets you draw one additional card to your hand. In addition, one of the battle cards lets you re-fight a previously decided battle, which means you can take away someone's big VP battle from their trophy pile and fight it again! They get the re-fight card worth 1vp as a consolation for their loss.

So the start player will draw two battle cards, and decide which one they want to be the one to be fought over this round. The year will be fixed, the time of day if tan can be chosen by the selecting player, otherwise it is also fixed, and then the selecting player decides if the battle shall be fought through air, surface, or submarine warfare, or perhaps boldly go for a combined attack where all three values are used!

The start player will play a card - either Japanese or Allied, possibly with an event card or a booster card.

Here is where the fun begins. Each player in turn then will also play a card towards the battle, either matching the start player's side, or opposing it. If it's clear that one side will clearly win, then maybe you'll choose to discard a card instead (or your entire hand).

Maybe someone before you has played a card with a lightning symbol on it and darned if you don't have the ship that sank it so you can capture it immediately and toss it into your trophy pile, which not only guarantees you some points this round, but also removes that ship from the total applied to that battle.

Of course, if you see someone play your nemesis, you are then safe to play your card because it's only cards that come after you that you need to worry about!

Cards played of course must be less than or equal to the year of the battle, so the ones from 1941 and 1942 have many fewer force cards that can affect them, whereas all cards can be played for 1945 battles. Nighttime cards are rare too. So a 1941 night battle can be really good for the chooser, if they have the cards...

Once everyone has played a card, all the values are totaled up, Allied vs. Japanese, any dice that need to be rolled for ? values are rolled, and the highest total wins the battle! The one player that contributed the most points to the total then collects all the cards from the losing side and the battle card, and distributes them as evenly as possible amongst the other winners. Note that it's the number of cards they're distributing, not the points! Then all the winning cards are tossed into the discard pile. Hands are then refilled, the player after the last battle decider becomes the new start player, and a new battle begins.

Last round you played on the Japanese side, this time you might well play on the Allied side. Which side will you choose when you pick a battle?

After all 20 rounds are played, players tally up their victory points, with the highest total being the winner. Ties go to the player with more battle cards in their trophy pile.

Conclusions

Pacific Typhoon is a great little game where you'll be best friends and true ally of one player this round, and their total enemy the next. There are lots of possibilities to screw your neighbours and sink their ships.

A complete game usually lasts about an hour, depending on the size and temperament of your group, but this game is best with 4-6 players, cold beer, and a nice quick pace so you can play another game or two before the evening is done.


Thank you for reading this latest installment of Roger's Reviews. I've been an avid board gamer all my life and a wargamer for over thirty years. I have a strong preference for well designed games that allow players to focus on trying to make good decisions.

Among my favorites I include Twilight Struggle, the Combat Commander Series, the Musket & Pike Battle Series, Julius Caesar, Maria, EastFront, Here I Stand, Napoleon's Triumph and Unhappy King Charles!

You can subscribe to my reviews at this geeklist: [Roger's Reviews] The Complete Collection and I also encourage you to purchase this very stylish microbadge: mb
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Martin
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I really enjoy this game. It's something we should remember to play more often at BGG Con!
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"L'état, c'est moi."
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itsmarty wrote:
I really enjoy this game. It's something we should remember to play more often at BGG Con!

Wouldn't that be the best game for a late night chaser with a big group?
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Martin
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leroy43 wrote:

Wouldn't that be the best game for a late night chaser with a big group?


It really would. Maybe I'll be able to put A Few Acres of Snow down for five minutes this year.
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Wendell
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Fun game. A very close sibling to Atlantic Storm, of course. But much more available!
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"L'état, c'est moi."
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wifwendell wrote:
Fun game. A very close sibling to Atlantic Storm, of course. But much more available!

I'm very pleased to say I have Atlantic Storm sitting in my collection too, but we haven't tried it yet to my shame.
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leroy43 wrote:
A complete game usually lasts about an hour, depending on the size and temperament of your group, but this game is best with 4-6 players

Wait till ya try it with 8 or more!


This has become one of our favorite big group party games. You have to reduce hand sizes by one so there's enough cards, and you can't play as many battles (we draw 3 and choose one). There's always a huge chance of getting Fated!
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Gene Baker
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Games with dragons, spaceships, and bears aren’t wargames. Call them conquest games or strategy games or crap but they aren’t wargames.
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sightreader wrote:
leroy43 wrote:
A complete game usually lasts about an hour, depending on the size and temperament of your group, but this game is best with 4-6 players

Wait till ya try it with 8 or more!


This has become one of our favorite big group party games. You have to reduce hand sizes by one so there's enough cards, and you can't play as many battles (we draw 3 and choose one). There's always a huge chance of getting Fated!


Why do I keep thinking this is a faked posed shot?
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gbaker59 wrote:
Why do I keep thinking this is a faked posed shot?

I dunno... why do you think it's fake? (scratches his head, puzzled) Do I get a prize for the answer?


Anyway, I got more shots like this and some videos (see videos section) because we play this game a lot. Sorry I'm too lazy to post most of the stuff, though...

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Gene Baker
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Games with dragons, spaceships, and bears aren’t wargames. Call them conquest games or strategy games or crap but they aren’t wargames.
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sightreader wrote:
gbaker59 wrote:
Why do I keep thinking this is a faked posed shot?

I dunno... why do you think it's fake? (scratches his head, puzzled) Do I get a prize for the answer?


I dunno it was a long week - something just seems outta place from whenever I play. I kinda sense you already won a prize.

EDIT: I got it! I've never played with 8!
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gbaker59 wrote:
EDIT: I got it! I've never played with 8!
Oh, it's a blast. In this clip, a guy started by dropping the A-bomb, but then someone played the Day/Night switch to eliminate it. The problem is, even with 9 players, player after player kept rolling high so the onset of night could never take place!

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